High school coaches are throwing their pitchers under the bus – Chicago Tribune

Paul Bergstrom pitches Friday for Notre Dame College Prep against Loyola Academy. He left the game after about 50 pitches. (Abel Uribe / Chicago Tribune)

Editorial Board

May 30,2016

High school baseball pitchers rack up some pretty impressive stats these days: Fastballs in the upper 80s and a 9.12 percent annual increase in UCLRs.

Translating for nongeeks: Hard-throwing high schoolers are wearing out their arms and driving up the need for Tommy John surgery, a serious elbow procedure technically known as ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction.

What a bizarre and completely unnecessary phenomenon. Where are the coaches? Watching from the dugout as kids hurt themselves by pitching too many innings in too many games.

In the major leagues, where pitching time is carefully monitored to prevent injuries, a typical starter throws about 105 pitches per game. Still, hurlers get hurt because pitching is tough on the body. Then there’s Brady Huffman of Genoa-Kingston High in DeKalb County, who tossed 167 pitches in a game this season, the Tribune’s John Keilman reports. “I trust him when he says that he has something left,” Huffman’s clueless coach told the Daily Chronicle of DeKalb.

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